Since his novel "The Alchemist" appeared three years ago, Paulo Coelho has emerged from Latin America to become one of the world's most widely-read authors. With his unique, even magical ability to meld gripping action and powerful spiritual insight, his books have become world favorites, selling more than ten million copies in 47 countries and being translated into 23 languages. <p> "By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept" tells of Pilar, a frustrated scholar looking for some greater meaning in the endless cycle of her days. When a childhood friend contacts her, she is surprised to learn that her former playmate is now a charismatic spiritual leader, someone revered as a miracle worker. She is even more astonished when he reveals that Pilar has always been his great love. <p> Confused by this sudden opportunity for a new chance at life, Pilar gradually comes to realize that the man she loves is being called upon to choose between her and his spiritual calling. As the suffering lovers travel through sacred sites in the French Pyrenees, the difficult choice they face offers a startling revelation about the divine and the redemptive power of love. Full of warmth and wisdom, joy and unexpected sorrow, their story is a magical celebration of the endless possibilities that life has to offer, and a fable about opening your heart to miracles.